HotelsYanolja runs a chain of 200 properties in addition to a booking service for accommodation.

Booking Holdings funds part of $180M round into South Korean hotel site Yanolja

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The South Korea-based hotel booking website has now secured a total of $242 million in funding after landing the latest Series D round.

Yanolja is celebrating its self-appointed "unicorn" status after securing a $180 million investment deal from Booking Holdings and GIC.

The South Korea-based hotel booking website has now secured a total of $242 million in funding after landing the latest Series D round.

It is the first time that Booking Holdings has invested directly in South Korea. The split in the investment coming via the Booking.com owner was not disclosed.

Yanolja was created in 2005 and has a fairly unique proposition compared to its contemporaries in many other markets in Asia.

Alongside its booking service for accommodation in South Korea it also runs a chain of 200 properties in the country under its own brand.

It also provides software for property owners that use the platform for third-party distribution.

Distribution goals for Booking Holdings
Part of the investment from Booking Holdings will include a two-way inventory deal, with Yanolja's properties made available on Agoda, Booking.com's sister online travel agency for Asia.

In return, Yanolja will host inventory from Agoda and Booking.com on its own service.

The Seoul-based company has investment aspirations of its own, illustrated in 2018 when put $15 million into Zen Rooms.

It claims to be processing $100 million in transactions on a monthly basis and has so far handled 20 million bookings. Yanolja says it took in $85 million in revenue during 2017.

Booking Holdings is no stranger to hedging its bets in investments around the region, following its ongoing backing of Ctrip (beginning in 2014 with a $500 million round) and, more recently, Meituan where it was part of a $4 billion Series C round.


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